The Total Human

Allyson Rice’s TheTotal Human ™ and
Malcolm Ringwalt’s Earth-Heart Institute of Vision and Healing

Vision Quests, Spiritual Retreats, Women's Retreats, Kundalini Yoga & Meditation,
Creativity Retreats, Personal Intensives


November 2009

Welcome to the quarterly newsletter collaboration between The Total Human™ and the Earth-Heart Institute of Vision and Healing. Collectively, we offer Vision Quests, Spiritual Retreats, Women's Retreats, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, Creativity Retreats, Personal Intensives, Healing, and Spiritual Counseling. If you are not interested in receiving these newsletters once each season, you can click on the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the page. Click on our names (above) to visit our complete websites.



My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just to enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate.
-Thornton Wilder-

When a great adventure is offered, you don't refuse it.
-Amelia Earhart-


You've Created Your Own Spirituality "Rulebook"

So what do ballroom dancing, newly platinum blonde hair, and a lucky penny have to do with spiritual growth?...

On a whim, Malcolm and I decided to take ballroom dancing lessons this past January, at the Arthur Murray in the nearby mall in Woodland Hills. I had been a dancer in my teens and early 20's, but nothing since then, and never any ballroom. I was not in good shape. Sixty pounds heavier than I had been when I was dancing, and with severe pain in my right knee, and with ongoing muscle problems, I had trouble moving as well as I could in the past (despite the yoga). But what happened over the next 10 months was nothing short of miraculous for me. Let me skip ahead a few months.

I was out doing my daily 3+ mile walk (the walk I started doing in an effort to be able to dance better again), and a glimmer caught my eye. It was a penny on the ground, almost invisible because it was the same color as the surrounding red dirt, except that I happened to see it at just the right angle where it caught the light. Now, aside from occassionally leaving them around so that other people can find a "lucky penny," I'm generally not one who picks them up myself. But this time, something in me said, "Now that's a lucky penny." I wasn't sure exactly why, but I felt that it had something to do with the dancing. I thought, "Maybe I'll work it into a piece of jewelry that I can wear when I'm at my ballroom dance competition in Vegas in Oct." But instead of picking it up then, my head jumped in and said, "Let's get it on the way back. You don't really want to have to carry it for 3 more miles. You don't have any pockets." So I looked around, made sure I knew where it was on the ground, found a nearby tree as a marker, and I decided to get it on the return home.

As I walked away, I had the fleeting thought, "What if a car drives over it and the dirt shifts and buries it?" But I let my head overrule everything I've learned about following a gut feeling and trusting intuition. You know where this is going... On my way back I came to the far end of the open patch of dirt on the road, I found my marker tree, and stopped to retrieve my lucky penny. It wasn't there. I walked up and down that patch of dirt 4 times, scouring every inch, and I couldn't find it anywhere.

I stopped right there and thought, "Okay, what's the larger message here?" I already got the one about trusting that inner voice, that gut instinct, that intuitive message over the "logic" of the head. So I started thinking about my dancing in relation to the penny, since my original thought had been that they were connected. Sometimes in life, an opportunity rises to the surface of our current experiences. A window to something. And how many times do we not jump on the opportunity, letting our head talk us into waiting until a more convenient time (or whatever excuse it's telling you), to then come back later, wanting the opportunity, only to find that the window has closed. "The dirt has shifted" and the thing that had presented itself to you is now buried and gone. Life is constantly shifting and nothing ever stays the same from moment to moment.

That's what the ballroom dancing was for me -- this little window in time where a chance to take some silly, whimsical ballroom dance classes at the mall came up. I could've thought of a million reasons why I didn't have the time, or the money, or it wasn't a more serious use of my energy when we're trying to keep business afloat in a recession, etc. etc. But I didn't. I "picked up the lucky penny" that time, and my entire world shifted. My soul woke up when I rediscovered dancing. I had no idea how much I had missed it. And in 10 months I lost 50 lbs and my body became 25 again, after years of not being able to budge the weight and physical difficulties that had been creeping up on me. And I began to feel more joy on a daily basis, because I allowed myself to do something where the only goal was to experience the joy of doing it.

I stand there on the side of the road marvelling at how my life is completely different than it was in January. What if I had let my head talk me out of it? I thought about how important it is to pay attention, and to recognize those brief windows of opportunities that surface in our lives, and to know that sometimes it's now or maybe never. You never know. Waiting for a better time is crazy. It's presenting itself to you because maybe this moment IS the better time. The key is following that voice in your heart when you hear it. Choose the adventure!!

I thought to myself, "Wow, so maybe I don't get to keep that penny today, but the message/insight I just got from it made it a lucky penny indeed." The minute that thought crossed my mind, I felt like I had received the the message that had been intended, my heart relaxed, and I set back on the last leg of my walk. At the next patch of dirt in the road, I looked down and saw my penny. I started laughing, picked it up, raised it to the heavens, and said "Thank You!" (I'm sure the car of people driving by at that moment thought I was nuts, but I'm getting used to that by now. At 46, I don't care so much anymore, and "crazy" is rather liberating because there aren't as many behavior rules!)

I kept the penny on the table next to my computer for a few weeks, not wanting to lose it (again). I looked at it one day and it prompted me to share the story with Malcolm who was sitting next to me working. He loved it, and suggested I write it up as my next newsletter piece. At that point I took it downstairs to my art studio and set it down to make it into a piece of jewelry. I ran back inside for something and when I came out about 15 minutes later it was gone. Malcolm and I looked everywhere between the dining room table and the jewelry area in my studio. It's never been found. I think it just hung around until I got the message to share the story. Then it was done. Mission accomplished. Poof!

So maybe ballroom dancing and platinum blonde hair won't be the next step in your personal journey of spiritual growth. Maybe it will be a yoga and meditation retreat, or volunteering at a soup kitchen. But just maybe it will be something you don't normally think of as "spiritual." Maybe it will be remodeling your kitchen, or skateboarding, or taking a juggling class at the local community college adult extension program, or taking that vacation you never make time for, or getting back to that old hobby you gave up years ago for reasons you can't remember.

There's no Spirituality Rulebook, with a list of "spiritual" activities and the accompanying dress code (except the rules you create in your own head). There's actually nothing you do in your life that's outside of your spiritual growth. The most mundane of activities is spiritual when you bring ALL of yourself to it, and allow yourself to be expanded by it. So reconnect with what you LOVE, with what brings you JOY (minus the judgements about how much perceived value it has). It's not "what you do" that has meaning, it's how you do it, and how much you open your heart to the greater meaning it has for you and for your life through the joy it creates in you.

Allow yourself...


Malcolm and I wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons! And if you are going through hard times, and are alone without family, perhaps volunteer your time and love to those less fortunate in your community who could use a helping hand. Expand your definition of family.

Many blessings!



New jewelry pieces have just been added to Allyson's Spiritual Bling® website, so if you want a one-of-a-kind gift for a special person this holiday season, check it out:


Special discount offer for newsletter subscribers: Anyone wanting to order women's coloring books as holiday gifts can buy them at $20 each (rather than $23) and no sales tax, so that's a savings of over $5 per book! Minimum of 2 please. This is not a discount being offered anywhere else but here for our readers over the next month. Email Allyson, let her know how many of each book, your shipping address, and how quickly you need them to arrive, and you will be sent the price with shipping costs, and a link to PayPal for the purchase.


Click on the underlined links below to read about a particular class, or go to The Total Human™ Programs or Earth-Heart Programs to read about other classes not listed here, and TTH Student Comments or E-H Student Comments to read comments from past participants.

Malcolm has a couple of spots that have just opened up for his long-distance, one-on-one Mentoring program. Participants get the extraordinary value of very personalized one-on-one work with Malcolm, over an extended time period to make sure you stay on track with your personal work as you apply it to your daily life and relationships. And because it's by phone, there is no added travel expense, or time away from work or family to participate. It's an invaluable investment! 6-month minimum commitment required. Call or email for details.

Malcolm has a limited number of 6-day  Personal Intensive dates in Jan, Feb and March. Call soon - dates fill up very quickly.



We want to support organizations out there who are working for the uplifting of humanity. If you know of websites that are doing really good work in the world, email them to us for possible inclusion in a future newsletter. We’d like to help get the word out.

Looking for a place to volunteer some time, to help those less fortunate, this site will help match you with volunteer opportunities in your area.

Another organization helping you to find volunteer opportunities in your area.

Many blessings to you all,




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